Documents lost after computer crash/restart

  1. 7 months ago
    Edited 7 months ago by Dormouse

    I have noticed that documents appear to lose information after a computer crash (or restart) even if the autosave feature is on. I suspect manual save may always works, but the autosave setting appears not to have any effect (I will set up a document to test whether manual save does always work or whether it is the same as autosave) in these circumstances.
    Not a problem if the program is closed properly.

    I had expected that everything would be saved up to the latest autosave even if a computer crash meant that the program was not closed properly.
    I assume that this will be a database effect that affects all areas.

  2. Chris

    10 May 2018 Developer, Moderator, Beta Tester

    When the auto-save kicks in, it saves the unsaved Document record directly to the database on the disk. If you have any crash, the Document should still be on the disk. However, if you have any kind of external disk caching system such as the one used by Microsoft, the write to the actual physical media may be delayed. This is why you should always choose the command "Eject" on USB sticks to let the system write any cache it has to the media.

    doogiePIM does a flush command to try and commit as best as possible but the actual decision to put the data on the device is up to the operating system.

    When the auto-save occurs successfully, you will see the icon turn grey/faded. If you don't have auto-save enabled, the icon won't have a small clock in the corner of it.

    Let me know of your tests. I'm eager to find out.

  3. I can confirm that the problem exists. Doesn't seem to be a problem if saved manually, and I'm not sure it always is on autosave (my test docs seemed to be still there). Maybe it is an issue only with open docs or with docs that are open in their own window.
    Lost some stuff on the last crash which had been there for over 12 hours.
    I've not experienced any autosave problems with other programs.
    The 'crashes' are of the system freezing and having to be restarted.

  4. Chris

    15 May 2018 Developer, Moderator, Beta Tester

    Ah! the problem is found. When you open a doNote window, that's when the auto-save doesn't fire. I'll get it fixed for the next update.

    Many thanks for the heads up.

  5. Brilliant! Really glad you've managed to pin it down.

  6. 7 weeks ago

    I have created two DoogiePIM databases (I have upgraded regularly from version 1.x to the current version 2.x). I use one or both databases on a daily basis. I have been experiencing three problems with the software in increasing frequency. One of the problems arose this week for the first time. Two documents in one database and another in the other database are no longer present. The document titles are still present in the navigation pane. The corresponding pages are blank! These were large documents, many pages long, that represented quite a bit of work.

    Unlike the other posts reported here, the disappearance of these documents did not follow a computer crash or an unusual shutdown of the program or the computer. I became aware of the absence of the contents of the documents upon opening the program. Three times in less than one week. This is alarming.

    Is it just a matter of time before documents in the Journal section get wiped out as well? I am suspending use of DoogiePIM for the time being. I will report the other two problems elsewhere. I suspect that other users are experiencing them as well.

  7. Chris

    Oct 25 Developer, Moderator, Beta Tester

    @lmorel I suspect your issue is quite different to Dormouse.

    In order to help you, I need further information about your system and how you are running doogiePIM.

    Are these documents that are blank brand new in a new database or are they several years old imported from the old do-Organiser. If the latter then it is possible the document didn't survive the import. If the former, then perhaps the Save button wasn't pressed. Try using the AutoSave feature as presented to Dormouse.

    When you go back to previous Backups of your database, does the blank document always appear blank? How far back does it go?

    What kind of hardware are you running? and what version of Windows?
    Where is doogiePIM installed? (installation on hard disk or portable on a flash drive)

    This "Blank document" is quite a concern to me as it's the first. I suspect this is due to the operating environment but I hope you can provide further evidence in order to sort out this situation.

  8. Thanks for the prompt replies. I use a Lenovo ThinkPad T460 purchased in August 2016. It runs Windows 10 Home edition, version 1803 installed on June 6, 2018. I purchased DoogiePIM on September 20, 2016. It is installed on the hard drive in the directory chosen by DoogiePIM during installation. I did not transfer any .DO3 file to DoogiePIM. I have been using the program extensively since then. I have kept up with the program upgrades in a timely fashion, never skipping one.

    I created two databases shortly after the purchase of the application. I will refer to them as home (presently 12.0 MB in size) and media (5.7 MB). I want to point out their respective companion .doosi files because I do not know their function. Moreover, I am surprised by the size of media.doosi (23.8 MB) as compared to the media.doo file size cited above and the home.doosi file size (a mere 8.9 MB).

    Two of the now-blank documents are present in the most recent backup files (October and September) One was created in March 2018 and the other some time earlier. A third now-blank document is absent from recent backups though it was present in the database as recently as last weekend!

    By the way, I have relied exclusively on the auto-save feature for the documents and the journal entries. I have never used the Ctrl+S command to initiate a manual save. Finally, I subscribe to Norton Internet 360 which installs anti-virus definitions and other features automatically.

    I trust this will give you leads in your elucidation of the problem.

  9. Chris

    Oct 26 Developer, Moderator, Beta Tester

    Thank you for the details of your setup.

    The first thing I would change is to uninstall Norton and replace it with a different AV system. I would suggest the free Avast, Basic File, Email and Network scanner. There are paid versions should you wish more protection. However, I've been running Avast for years on basic with no noticeable slowdown or problems. There is also Avira but this was bought by Avast recently so you're basically paying for the same thing. Kaspersky is also an excellent AV system but not as user-friendly.

    The size of your doogiePIM databases are really quite small. My daily database is 518MB and my wife has a cooking database that is equally well over that. My development KB is touching 3.6GB now. That contains mainly Documents with a large amount of text and some graphics. Therefore, I can only conclude your database is not the problem.

    The doosi file is an index used by the Global Database Search system. This enables you to perform a fast search of your database content. This index can be recreated at any time and can be much larger than your main database. This is not a problem area and doesn't need to be backed up if you're happy to rebuild the index.

    Backups should be made each day. Your doo file is the most important part of your data. There is a quick backup command in the File menu "Backup Database". This performs a one-click backup copy of your database you can store on a different disk. The backup file is encoded with the date and time of last save and when it was created so you know which backup is which. Place the backup command icon on your main toolbar and use it each day.

    You can load a backup file into doogiePIM and export a single Document to a don file. You could then import that don file back into your main database, should you wish an easier way than copy/paste.

    Your laptop is a very good one. Lots of good reviews and is certainly a good choice for running doogiePIM.

    I really don't have much more to say other than to make regular backups and I'll see if I can code in some further protection against saving a blank document when there was one there a moment ago. Perhaps a new user option in the settings "Don't save empty documents". This would protect against hitting Ctrl+A then Delete or Space, then if the AutoSave timer just kicks in, you get a blank document.

    I hope this stirs some positive vibe to the matter and have a great weekend.

  10. 6 weeks ago

    Thank you for the reply and suggestions. I create backups of single documents on an irregular basis. I save them as RTF files on a different disk. The format is more versatile than the DON format as I can open the documents in a word processor such as Microsoft Word. Saving single documents in DON format would be a good way to have a readily available backup should this happen again. I also back up the entire databases at least once a week, sometimes as often as three times. Clearly, this could be done daily using the backup feature built into the PIM.

    I understand that you have had great success with the Avast AV product. Why do you propose the dismissal of the Norton AV product? Are you suggesting that it may be responsible for the incessant "DoogiePIM is not responding" messages that I experience?

    I appreciate that having a backup available would allow recovery of an unexplained document disappearance as I described above. I am still puzzled by the sudden disappearance of these documents. as there is no explanation for this behavior as of yet. I assure you that I did not delete the documents after keying in the Ctrl+A sequence.

    I will continue to monitor the performance of the PIM and inform you of changes.

  11. Quite a few reasons not to use Norton. Avast is OK. I used Outpost at one time; when it was taken over by Kaspersky, I decided to decline the free year of Kaspersky because I had lost confidence in its privacy (too many Russian internet attacks; nothing to do with Kaspersky, but I preferred to stay well away). Decided to go with Bitdefender. Haven't regretted it; not intrusive & doesn't seem to slow my system. Used Avast many years ago, and think it is a good free option - but then Windows Defender isn't that bad now either.

  12. Yet another document has disappeared! it was present when I closed the database earlier this evening. I worked in my other DoogiePIM database for about five hours, closed it and opened the previous database. The document was gone. I imported the .DON version of that document which I had created as a backup. Shuttling .DON documents back and forth is not a promising future.

  13. Chris

    Oct 31 Developer, Moderator, Beta Tester

    I really don't understand how this could happen. I'm completely dumbfounded. I would really like to know how I can replicate this "bug". As I don't know exactly how you use doogiePIM it is quite hard to figure this one out. In the last 18 years of this database system, I've never experienced anything like this.

    I wonder if the document is actually saved and available but it can't be displayed for some reason. What kind of data are you putting in the document? Could you send me a sample?

    I'm close to releasing a new version soon (v2.1.0.5), this contains a feature to stop any kind of document being saved if it has no content.

    I chose Avast as it has the lowest impact on the system, according to several reviews. My own experience endorses this.

 

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